ClarkVV (4425) - Allston, Massachusetts, USA - APR 18, 2007
2.3 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 4/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 10/20
Draught pint at PP Carlsbad on 3/25/07
Been eyeing this one the whole weekend, but having heard nothing of the brewery, I didn’t jump on the chance to try it right away. Hair of the Dog brunch seemed like a good time for a pils, so here it is.
Rapidly failing white head atop a clear, true-bronze colored body with sporadic carbonation and little/no lacing.
Sweaty, hay and straw-like maltiness in the nose also shows a true lager yeast, with definite moments of crispness and plenty of the mineral character I associate with it, but alas, this one had a good deal of acetyldehyde as well. Not overly concentrated and thus not producing a strong green apple aroma, but lighter and adding a large amount of dry paperiness to the nose that works against the crispness of the malt and yeast. Seemingly pretty well-attenuated from the nose and with no diacetyl or DMS, it’s a shame that it’s got that strong paper-blandness. Hops are extremely minimal. Probably wouldnt kill them to throw in some more, even if it was just more saaz. Not expecting any huge, vibrant, bitter aromatics, but what’s there is a rather boring mess of soggy hop leaves and light nuttiness. Alcohol not apparent, medium to medium-low aroma strength.
Papery-blandness from the acetyldehyde being present in the flavor as well, the beer just never is able to muster much flavor or crispness. Right at the start there is a little flutter of hop bitterness and some light floral/herbal notes, with crisp yeast and light graininess from the malts, but it’s gone almost immediately, passing in to a slightly-too-loosely-carbonated middle that is quite bland, and yields a toasty maltiness that builds up on the palate and gives the mouthfeel an almost chewiness that it shouldnt have. Tough to finish, can’t remember if I did or not. Alcohol not present in flavor, nor any diacetyl/DMS.
Sure seemed like this was in pretty poor condition. Not sure how much of the blame rests on Lightning or Pizza Port.
FlacoAlto (4000) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - APR 24, 2008
2.8 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 10/20
A fairly vigorous pour yields a three-finger thick, pale tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. As I pour this beer an interesting aroma of peaches wafts my way. The beer is a brilliantly clear, full gold color that is on the dark side for a Pilsner (think a fuller Bohemian Pils color). The head leaves some nice lacing patterns on the sides of my glass as it slowly subsides under the persistent level of carbonation. A deeper inspection of the aroma yields sweet, aromatic grain notes (touch of grape and some soft honey notes) as well as some dry, saltine-cracker like aromas, grassy grain and some light hop aromatics. The hop notes contribute aromas of herbal hay and some light lemon zest. The hop character is very soft here, though I suppose it matches fairly well with the soft malt character, it just is even more soft than the malt aromatics.
Wow, this is actually quite sweet, definitely not a typical German interpretation, but it is even sweet for a Bohemian interpretation. Though I think it really seems sweet because the hop character is so soft. This definitely needs more hops, nothing over the top, but enough to balance the sweet grain character that defines this brew right now. Flavors of chewy, fresh crushed pale malt, cracker like grain, and a touch of dusty biscuit flavors are joined by sweet malt notes that are a mix of honey-like grain, a touch of peach, . No surprisingly, with the sweetness, this beer has a fair amount of body to it; I wouldn’t really describe this as being crisp or even refreshing as most examples of the style are; it is not heavy either, just not quite as light as one might expect. The muted hop character contributes soft notes of grassy herbs, a touch of bitterness and some sweet lemon-drop notes.
A very different interpretation of a Pilsner. I would recommend adding quite a bit more noble hops (nothing over the top, just enough to let one know this is a Pils) and allowing the yeast to attenuate this quite a bit further. What do I know though, this might be exactly what Lightning was trying to brew, it seems so far off from the standards of the style though; it could almost be a Helles with this hop character, but it is too sweet for that style as well. Fairly tasty, but really a bit too sweet to be fully enjoyable for me. If you are one to complain that Pilsners are too dry & too hoppy, then this beer might be for you, I am instead hoping that the brewers are still dialing this recipe in, because I think that it shows some great potential.
Purchased: South Bay Drugs Pharmacy, Imperial Beach CA
DedicatedToFun (4000) - Santa Monica, California, USA - JUL 19, 2014
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Tap, golden pour, white head, nose is grassy, taste is bland, nothing special here.
theisti (3520) - Leawood, Kansas, USA - JUL 1, 2009
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
UPDATED: JUL 2, 2009 22 oz bottle purchased at Holiday Wine Cellar in Escondido, California. Pour is hazed golden yellow with a frothy and lasting 2 inch pure white head. Nice sheets of lacing. Aroma of fresh bready, toasty grainy malt with some light floral earthy hops. Taste is the bready malt, though it has some earthy, almost dirty chemical edge to it which isn’t that nice. The floral hops are present, especially in the finish which has a straw grass bitterness. Very herbal. Palate is light to medium, with a long dry, even dusty, somewhat bitter finish.
snoworsummer (3497) - baltimore, Maryland, USA - JAN 10, 2015
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 2/5 OVERALL 12/20
Draft. Pours opaque gold with a thick, fizzy off white head. Tastes like sweet corn, straw, dry roasted malt, and bitter citrus hops. Light body and low carbonation. Smells like musky citrus, grapefruit, toasted malt, straw.
alexanderj (3427) - Branson, Missouri, USA - DEC 4, 2008
3.1 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Despite the low ratebeer score, I had high hopes for this. Bottle. Poured a ruddy yellow with a white head. Aroma of sweet malt, grass, BO, apples and bread. As I sat drinking it, I realized this was definitely the wrong time of year to enjoy this. Summer would have been more appropriate. There was a weird, lingering and appleish after taste. Decent bitterness in the finish. Flavor was a bit hit or miss overall, but I still enjoyed it, although not as much as I had hoped.
Marheb (3377) - San Diego, California, USA - JAN 29, 2015
3 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 12/20
Très herbacé, amer, astringent avec des nuances d’ammoniac et de citron. Pas très élégant et plutôt abrasif.
pantanap (3366) - Chicago, Illinois, USA - FEB 21, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
22oz bottle from my buddy paul in SD.....pours a golden hazy orange brown, almost IPA like, with a considerable white soapy head....interesting aroma of almost resembling a saison. citrus and sweet tropical fruit, mustiness, and a sweet tartish nose.... flavors aren’t as vibrant but some of the same notes are present, however dumbdowned. some added spice and yeastiiness as well. high in carbonation with a dry finish.
WeeHeavySD (3361) - Portland, Oregon, USA - DEC 16, 2007
3.6 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
On Tap @ Hams. Pours clear yellow with a bright white head. Nose is nice and has some good citrus notes. Taste is sweet and robust with a nice full mouth feel and light hops.
Beerlando (3342) - Orlando, Florida, USA - JUN 27, 2008
2.7 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 5/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours a clear yellow golden color with a spongy white head. The foam settles slowly to a thin film, leaving patchy rings of lacing on the glass. The aroma is disagreeable, showing a weird mix of sourdough yeast, eggy custard, and sweet, corny malts. Flavors, too, seem to be off. Lemongrass hops lend bitterness, but do little to counter the egg whites and the pungent yeast. Hoppy flan, sans the caramel, is what this reminds me of. The mouthfeel is substantial for the style, but a little on the light side overall. Moderate carbonation leads into a lingering, sourdough finish. I just don’t dig this one very much. Their Ionizer Lager is a much better product.